Cy­cle­way ‘ab­so­lute mess’

North Shore Times - - FRONT PAGE - LAINE MOGER

Road­works for a coun­cil $16 mil­lion-dol­lar cy­cle­way are hit­ting busi­nesses hard in North­cote Pt for the sake of a hand­ful of cy­clists, out­raged own­ers say.

Auck­land Trans­port’s project has re­sulted in traf­fic be­ing di­verted, and busi­ness en­trances be­ing blocked off, along the main road, Queen St.

‘‘It’s millions of dol­lars for a cy­cle­way that is use­less, be­cause no one can cy­cle over the [Auck­land Har­bour] bridge Bridge­way cin­ema’s Christodoulou said.

The art­house cin­ema has lost ‘‘thou­sands’’ in rev­enue due to power cuts and other con­struc­tion dis­rup­tions, he said. Auck­land Trans­port never ap­proached busi­nesses and there has been a to­tal lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion, he added.

Billy Cafe owner Sarah Strat­ford said her busi­ness was ‘‘caged off’’ from the street, which has re­sulted in 66 per cent loss in rev­enue yet,’’ Steve on her worst days.

‘‘It’s just an ab­so­lute mess and we see no hope,’’ she said.

The North­cote Safe Cy­cle Route project in­volves im­prov­ing foot­paths and cy­cle lanes along a 5.2-kilo­me­tre stretch of the area’s roads. It started in April and was due to fin­ish in May 2018.

Si­mon Macken­zie, owner of two wine bars and a cafe on Queen St, said the works had an im­pact, espe­cially with a loss of out­door seat­ing.

Blik­fang gallery’s Janie Duneas said the busi­ness is a ‘‘des­ti­na­tion’’ and, if there was no park­ing, peo­ple have to leave. The his­toric street looks ‘‘naked’’ now be­cause of all the trees they have cut down, she added.

Bike Auck­land’s Steve Southall said the or­gan­i­sa­tion sup­ported safe-cy­cling projects and de­nied plans for SkyPath were a driver. How­ever, Southall ac­knowl­edged the im­pact on busi­nesses and said, on his group’s next ride, they would stop at Billy’s Cafe, in a show of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their sac­ri­fice.

Auck­land Trans­port’s Mark Han­nan said work on the Queen St sec­tion will fin­ish in Fe­bru­ary 2018, adding two rounds of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion were done in 2014 and 2016.

North­cote Pt res­i­dent Jeremy Richards said in these con­sul­ta­tions the res­i­dents ‘‘just have not been lis­tened to’’. A pe­ti­tion with 1600 sig­na­tures told AT it shouldn’t go ahead with the con­struc­tion. ‘‘No one is happy. It’s a lose, lose, lose sit­u­a­tion.’’

LAINE MOGER/STUFF

North­cote Pt’s Janie Duneas, Matt Rollinson and Si­mon Macken­zie say Queen St busi­nesses are los­ing sig­nif­i­cant rev­enue be­cause of work on a con­tro­ver­sial cy­cle­way.

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